Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Customer Service.

I've been thinking for the last day or so about if I should post this but you know me, I'm going to and possibly regret it later ;)

Yesterday I woke up and while I was waiting for Mr Nicsknots to get out of the shower, I laid in bed, at 5:50am, started my working day, reading emails . One of them was from Etsy to say that a customer had lodged a complaint about me. I read it; the customer had bought something from me a month ago and hadn't received her bag so she was complaining that I was a bad seller. 

I had actually already spoken to the customer; she emailed about 8 days after I sent the bag to her and while normally things get to The US in about 7 days, sometimes it takes longer so I asked her to wait a week and if she still hadn't received it, could she get in touch with me and I would sort a replacement out and contact Royal Mail. The irony is that on Sunday night, while writing my list for Monday, I had put down to contact her to check that she had received the bag because I hadn't heard from her.

Anyway, I was fairly upset yesterday. Silly maybe but I really pride myself on providing good customer service and now I felt like she thought I was doing a bad job.  I emailed her back, told her that I had assumed that she had received the bag as I hadn't heard from her and offered her a replacement or refund.  I waited to hear back from her.

Later in the day I received the reply; she would like a replacement please. The only problem was that the fabric the bag was made in, had since sold out and it had been discontinued fabric when I made the bag so I knew I was going to struggle to get hold of it. Gah!

I spent almost an hour going through my fabric, checking that I hadn't got any of the fabric left then spent another hour or so trawling the internet.  There was one place that sold it in the UK but the website said that items would be dispatched within 5-7 days. I rang up, explained my predicament and how I was desperate for the fabric, would there be any chance of them being able to post the fabric out today or tomorrow at the latest, please?   No. The woman on the end of the telephone was friendly enough but told me that she worked alone and she didn't have time to go to the Post Office until Thursday at the earliest, possibly even Friday. I thanked her and started to panic a bit more.  Of course I could just go back to my customer and tell her that I couldn't send her a bag in the same print but I wanted to make it all 110% better, I wanted to send the same bag and to be honest, I wanted it to get to The US on Concorde later today.

Basically, I think what I am trying to say is that I try to provide the service I want and expect from businesses I use.  I get my orders to customers as quickly as I possibly can because when I order something online, I will be stalking the postman the next day and if it doesn't arrive, which to be fair, it generally doesn't, I feel a little disappointed because I am so impatient.   91% of my retail orders are sent the same day that I receive the order...sometimes if you order later than 2pm, it might still make the post. It just depends how busy I am and if I need to make the bag up. I prioritise making orders up and packing up parcels over emails during the daytime then tend to catch up on emails in the evening and first thing in the morning.

Sometimes it isn't possible for me to do this, sometimes I am teaching so I'm not in in the daytime or I might have had lots of orders but that is what I try to do.  I just hope Mrs Etsy is happy when I send the bag out to her tomorrow after I have had my bacon saved by my lovely fabric-hoarding friend who happens to have some of the fabric I need in her vast fabric stash ;)


Sarah Knits said...

Things seem to take a while to get either way across the pond and I feel that your customer did you a disservice by not being patient and not letting you know before she complained to etsy!

Conversely I have always had great service from you when I have shopped on line and the twice you have done custom orders for me. I hope that a happy and returning customer helps to balance out the 'other' kind. S x

knittynew said...

Please don't worry about this, I do that all the time (worry about just 1 single complaint) and it's only one instance, if only people were so keen to praise as complain. It is very obvious you offer good customer service or you wouldn't be so upset xx

Auntie Noo said...

Now that's why we should alllllll keep immense stashes, to help each other out of the inevitable once in a while...? Perfectly good reason.

GiddyStuff said...

Your customer service is fab, so don't be mean to yourself! I have ordered things from the US and forgotten they were coming because of the delay - not the fault of the seller, just the way things are.
By the wa, my Tardis bag arrived today and I love it! :)x

Raelene said...

I ordered a bag and got it in around 10 days which is sooner than I would expect as it had to come to New Zealand. It was just as lovely as it looked on the site. There is always that one person who just can't wait or who is never happy. I was absolutely chuffed with my purchase.